We left Bannerghatta in a taxi and headed for Bangalore, but first we had to see the sixty-foot Shiva. We went to the RVM Foundation Shiva temple on Airport Road. Shiva is the creator and destroyer in Hinduism, also described as creating, transforming, and protecting the universe. The large temple was a place of worship and had definite funhouse vibe as well. We walked through the tunnel in the fabricated “mountain” below:
Below is the outside of the tunnel. The rounded black object near the center is a lingam, a representation of Shiva that is found in natural and man made sculptures.
There was music and chanting piped into the tunnel, which had dioramas of different Hindu sacred sites and was lit with black lights in some places. Many scenes depict the location of lingams throughout India. We bought a plate with items (below) which were thrown into a fire by a Hindu priest who blessed us with each item one by one.
A different Hindu priest tied red bracelets around our wrists as we walked through the temple grounds. Another area had 108 bowls into which people dropped coins, one coin into each metal bowl. It was an interesting place, a little commercial and fabricated perhaps, but full of colors and music and incense in the air.